Monday, September 6, 2010


Wait, what was I doing again?

One of the most intimidating things anyone has ever told me occurred on the website "The Drawing Board". I had posted a picture that was getting positive feedback and my reply to some of the comments included an off handed remark along the lines "yeah, I don't really draw on a consistent basis," which, as I think about it, is kinda arrogant, (I draw well enough for you to admire my my work and I don't even work at it, how cool am I?). Someone replied "imagine how good you'd be if you drew all the time". I thought Huh.

Imagine how good I'd be if I was genuinely passionate about drawing? Imagine if I stopped making excuses, got off my ass, applied myself, stopped being apprehensive, stopped procrastinating, stopped settling, over-thinking, stepped up, focused, took action, took control... Imagine if I didn't waste my ability. Imagine if I actually did something with it. Imagine...

You'll notice the picture is dated. That isn't the last time I drew anything, or the last time I drew anything worth posting. That's just about how long the picture has been uploaded to this unfinished post, this un-started post. Sure, stuff has happened, stuff has gotten in the way, big stuff. But truthfully, I let it get in the way.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I loathe to detail the events of the past few months as they pertain to my absence here. Any and all explanations would be embarrassing excuses and really, aren't we past all that?

I can assure those that would care of such things that drawing has occurred and just leave it at that.

Let us awkwardly segue to the movie portion of our post.

I like the Sherlock Holmes movie. I get the distress some viewers felt at seeing such a tried and true literary figure regarded as a puerile, arrogant sociopath with his passive-aggressive treatment of Watson and dismissive use of detecting skills, I do. But I think the tweaking of Holmes' idiosyncrasies, the amping up of his intellectual prowess to near autistic levels balanced with a concurrent drop in social skills allows much opportunity for diversion from the mysteries afoot which can be, frankly, tedious exposition when compressed to movie length. This, I believe, is director Guy Ritchie's aim, to keep from dumbing down the clue finding and puzzle solving (too much), he peppers the movie with Holmes' eccentricities played for humor. Also, it's the inspired casting and performance of Robert Downey Jr. in the title role that sells the whole bit.

The remake of The Crazies was entirely better than it should have been. It loses much of it's steam just past the middle, and the titular "crazies" themselves aren't as strong a threat toward the end, but still, given the source material, plenty good.

Legion is one of those "angel war" movies that usually misses opportunities, this one is no different. There is some good casting, some creepy effect sequences and some decent ideas but none of it gains any footing. The plot holes are cavernous. Western religious mythology fascinates me thus I am drawn to movies that attempt the subject matter regardless of how ass-like I fear they will be.

Kick Ass did in fact kick ass, lots of ass. I am a fan of the comic book by Mark Millar and the amazing John Romita Jr. Much of what they were trying to accomplish makes it on screen, some of the bits are altered and fluffed out for mass consumption. That is to be expected. Aaron Johnson is sympathetic and relatable in the title role and Nicolas Cage somehow doesn't bore me like he usually does, his Adam Westian performance is entertaining. But, unfortunately, they are playing against Chloe Moretz's Hit Girl who's a freakin' revelation in the role. Her action sequences are like watching Hello Kitty enter into a frenzied blood rage of whirling death blossom, pure awesome.

By the way, have you seen this Netflix movie streaming thing? Which to a movie whore like me is akin to saying, "by the way have you experienced this heroin thing?" I'm fairly certain that the time is coming wherein gobs of entertainment will be poured directly into the gray matter via some USB spike driven into the back of our heads thus eliminating any Burgess Merideth-like lamenting.

Among the streamable cinema fare that has been slaking my thirst is Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris. Decompressed and cerebral, Solaris harkens back to a time (1972) when Sci Fi was more than the genre wherein shit got blow'ed up. This movie instead occupies it's character's time with treatises on the human condition while placing them under emotional distress at the hands of a consciousness so alien that communication seems impossible. It took me a bit to shift to the right gear for proper enjoyment but once I did I was captivated. It doesn't hurt that the female lead, Natalya Bondarchuk is pretty bangin'. Yes, she's acting her ass off also, hanging with the egghead science-type characters playing verbal/psycho analytical/technobabble chess while plenty holding her own. I found the mental gymnastics refreshing.

The Pic is another random randomness from the fffound blog. Not so bad.

Oh yeah, the nerdgasmic Comic Con is looming menacingly. I've mentally and physically prepared myself as much as possible, the strong will thrive, the weak will be eaten.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Puddle Deep

Every once in awhile a movie comes along and fundamentally alters my opinion of the medium. By their very nature movies are made "by commitee", that is, the amount of aspects in direct control of one singular vision are limited, maybe moreso than in any other medium. It's much easier to find the voice of one person in something like a book or a song, but movies are such a collaborative venture that it amazes me sometimes that they get made at all. This idea is what impresses me most when I see great films. When the writer hands the story to the producer, when the special effects guys work with the story boarder, when the gaffers and grips and cameramen get instruction from the cinematographer, when the director tells the actors what to do. When the component parts, made by so many individuals, combine Voltron-like into one, what happens? Do you get lead or gold?

I often thought, naively, that writing was the most important component, or more accurately, I thought it was the primary component. I suppose it depends on the moviemakers and the movie being made. Plenty of movies with mediocre writing have won critical acclaim, and plenty more movies with remedial writing have made craploads of money. In fact some movies have done quite well with garbage writing, awful directing, and downright mind-numbing acting, (I'm looking at you GI Joe).* I then believed that the director was the primary force behind a movie, I mean many very talented actors have had craptacular turns due to assclown directors and some very average actors have had stellar performances thanks in no small part to fantastic directors, (isn't that right Mr. Travolta?). At no point have I attributed an actor as having the matrix of leadership in the greatness of film but I do acknowledge their contribution is integral. So really, to me, the primary component is actually a triumvirate, writer/director/actor, complemented by a small army, composer/cinematographer/special effects and production artists, ect. And when all these disparate ingredients create an amazing film, when the sum becomes something greater than it's parts, well... that's frickin' alchemy!

Then comes James Cameron. I believe JC, (how apt), said something to the effect that he was gonna change movies forever with that blue kitty people movie of his. Well he did, just not for the better. Don't get me wrong, Avatar is gorgeous and lots of fun but I don't considerate a great film. That may sound movie snobbish, and it probably is, but I just don't feel that the power rangers have come together to make Megazord here. To me what JC has done is the cinematic equivalent of genetically engineering Megan Fox. Every aspect of the movie was carefully researched from the design of the Navi with their big vulnerable eyes and lithe, asthetic bodies, to the lush, inviting Final Fantasy inspired (ripped off) vistas of pandora with it's beguiling color scheme and soothing soft glow. From it's clearly portrayed characters, unencumbered by dimension to it's advanced but functional looking tech. It's story of a unspoiled and unilaterally peaceful native species meeting another species governed by callousness and greed at best, blind duty and inexplicable aggression at worst. All meticulously manicured by people with slavish devotion to detail.

So what's the problem? All the elements seem to be present. Yes... and, well, no. Like the aforementioned Ms. Fox, this movie is yummy to look at, I could spend hours watching it prance around in it's underwear, doing gymnastics, or even just sitting and staring at a wall. But much like God evened Megan's stats by shaving some watts off the old light bulb and instilling her with the bare minimum of human soul, so too did JC balance his obsessive fabrication of a movie with his lack of providing weight to the characters and gravitas to their words and actions. Sure, you can't help but be affected by certain moments, the 911 echoing fall of Home Tree, the contrived chosen nature of the Jake Sully character, the painfully predictable confrontation between the Jake Sully and the stock mindless, rampaging Colonel Quaritch over the fate of Pandora in general and Jake's helpless natural body in particular, (not difficult to notice manipulative nature of design and plot devises). But all of it is very superficial. Even with the Colonel dangling the carrot of Jake's real legs being returned to him, there's something disingenuous about his siding with the Navi. That may be attributed to the actor's vanilla pudding performance but in all fairness he doesn't have much to work with, the military abandoned him after his injury and he's banging a hot blue kitty chick, not much to work with there. Sigourney Weaver's Diane Fossey inspired performance is passable but then, she played Diane Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist, no points there. I'm simply not buying the idea of carpet bombing the Navi's home/Wailing Wall equivalent for the sake of a mineral no matter how rare or comedically named. I realize there is some precedent, but in an age where the plight of the spotted dung shrew supersedes that of the real estate developer, the wiping out of an intelligent, indigenous, attractive species over a rock seems, mmmm, distractingly far-fetched... at least without some additional plotwork.

JC was quoted as saying "So much of literary sci-fi is about creating worlds that are rich and detailed and make sense at a social level. We'll create a world for people and then later present a narrative in that world." That narrative feels very much an after thought and pretty much sums up the movie for me. The unfortunate legacy here is the example Avatar sets. I do not look forward to the deluge digital, 3D movies bloated with special effects, directed by designers and technicians versed in mo-cap and pixel manipulation. Creating, in the biblical sense, living breathing worlds while paying passing lipservice to it's inhabitants. But then I remember Michael Bay is till making movies so I guess it's not that much of a game changer after all.

Enough bitter rambling, I really didn't want this to be so negative, especially in light of the many wonderful movies I've seen recently. Guaranteed in the next post, hopefully much sooner. The Drawering is a random random of randomness from ERROR888-Tumbler, my new distraction. I have many projects I'm not paying enough attention to, business as usual.